The Seventh Annual History Book Festival Is Coming to Lewes

Mark your calendars for the iconic History Book Festival, featuring 23 distinguished authors of historical fiction and nonfiction.

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Great news for Delaware book lovers! The History Book Festival is returning for another weekend of historic celebration in Lewes. From September 29 through October 1, locals can enjoy author engagement, book signings and readings, discussion panels and more.

The festival—the first and only one of its kind in the United States devoted exclusively to history—kicks off on Friday, September 29, with a keynote speech at 7 p.m. at Bethel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. The festivities will continue throughout the weekend, with 20 author appearances throughout the day on Saturday at various locations in historic Lewes. The festival will end in a closing address on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cape Henlopen High School.

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The History Book Festival is a great place to not only discover new books and authors, but also connect with likeminded book lovers. Discussions are sure to be insightful and enjoyable throughout the weekend.

history book festival

While Saturday’s events throughout historic Lewes are free, tickets are required for both the keynote speech and closing address. The events on Saturday, which culminate with a “Spirited Discussion” after-party at Lewes Public Library, are open-access. However, with two amazing presenters on Friday and Sunday, a set of tickets is the best way to get the full experience at the History Book Festival.

This year’s keynote speaker is award-winning radio host Steve Inskeep. He is the co-host of National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” the most widely heard radio program in the United States, and NPR’s “Up First,” one of the nation’s most popular podcasts. His reporting has taken him across the United States and to the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Pakistan and China.

His latest work, Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America, explores Abraham Lincoln’s political strategy during the most divided time in United States history. With polarization at the forefront of politics today, Inskeep shares lessons we can learn from the nation’s 16th president. Inskeep will be in conversation with Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. The keynote address, presented by Sally Mott Freeman and John K. Freeman, will explore these concepts and kick off the weekend fun.

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James McBride is the festival’s closing speaker. He is a New York Times bestselling novelist who has won a National Book Award and received a National Humanities Medal from former president Barack Obama. He is also an accomplished musician and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. McBride will be in conversation with Marie Arana, co-founder of the National Book Festival and inaugural literary director of the Library of Congress, about his latest novel, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. The closing address is presented by Dogfish Head Beer & Benevolence.

Keynote and closing tickets are available now to purchase at and Ticket fees start at $28 and include a signed, hardcover copy of the author’s featured book.

Books can be purchased after each presentation, when authors will be available to sign them. You can also support your favorite local bookstores by purchasing them in advance at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, the official bookseller of the History Book Festival, or at Biblion in Lewes. In addition, all festival titles may be borrowed from the Delaware Public Library system as the books are published.

This nonprofit event—presented by Delaware Humanities and The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/PenFed Realty—is a great way to discover your next historic read!

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